Age Pensioner Concession Card
This card is issued annually to Centrelink and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) pensioners and normally entitles them to the following concessions (conditions may apply):
Energy (to cover both electricity and gas payments, including LPG bottled gas) up to $215, council, water and sewerage rates (including exemption of the Save the River Murray levy), residential parks scheme, land tax, and emergency services levy - contact the SA Government Concessions Hotline, tel. 1800 307 758 for application forms or for further contact details.
Prescription medicines – subsidised drugs listed in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Present your card when purchasing medicines at a pharmacy.
Prescription lenses and frames - through the South Australian Spectacles Subsidy Scheme, tel. 1300 762 577. Apply through a participating optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye specialist).
Public transport fares - 50% reduction when purchasing a ticket (present Card). See also ‘State Seniors Card’.
Pension Supplement - automatically paid to pensioners and other eligible income support recipients with their regular fortnightly payment to assist with the cost of daily household and living expenses. The supplement combines previous pension add-ons including the GST Supplement, Telephone Allowance, Utilities Allowance and Pharmaceutical Allowance.
Dental treatment - available at various community dental service sites and (for emergencies) the Adelaide Dental Hospital, tel. 8222 8222 - co-payments apply.
Medicare Safety Net – once a person/couple‘s out-of-pocket medical expenses for out-of-hospital services reach a set figure ($624.10 in 2014) in a calendar year, the Australian Government will pay 80% of any additional costs for the remainder of the year. Contact Medicare, tel. 13 20 11.
Hearing tests, aids and subsidised batteries - Office of Hearing Services, tel. 1800 500 726, typewriter (TTY): 1800 500 496.
Ambulance cover - 37% discount. Tel. SA Ambulance Service, tel. 1300 136 272.
Driver’s licence, motor registration fees - apply at your local Service SA customer service centre, tel. 13 10 84.
Rail tickets – Two free one-way fee tickets to stations as far as Port Augusta, Broken Hill or Bordertown (fuel surcharge applies). The free tickets are mailed every second year to all card holders with their Centrelink Concession Card renewal. Additional discounts are also available from Great Southern Rail (tel. 13 21 47 for booking, details).
Dog registration - contact your local council.
Mail redirection - concession rate varies according to period and location. Apply at your local post office
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
Available to non-pensioners of pension age with an annual adjusted taxable income of less than $51,500 (single), $82,400 (couple combined) or $103,000 (couple combined but separated by illness). Add $639.60 for each dependent child.
This card entitles holders to the Seniors Supplement, which helps with paying regular bills such as energy, rates, phone and motor vehicle registration. The supplement is paid each quarter shortly after 20 March, 20 June, 20 September and 20 December.
Other concessions include bulk-billed doctor appointments (at the discretion of the doctor); cheaper out-of-hospital medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net and concessional rail travel on Great Southern Rail services.
For general information about concessions, contact Centrelink tel. 13 23 00 or for veterans Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), tel. 13 3254, 1800 555 254.
In South Australia Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders may also be entitled to Emergency Service Levy and energy concessions (conditions apply). Tel. Concessions Hotline on 1800 307 758
Veteran entitlement cards
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides eligible veterans with one of a number of health cards (Gold, White or Orange) entitling them to a range of free health services and concessions for accepted disabilities and other medical conditions. Related travel expenses may also be included. Depending upon the level of Disability Pension paid, some state government concessions may also apply. Contact the Departament of Veterans' Affairs DVA, tel. 13 3254, 1800 555 254.
Other Centrelink or DVA payments
Rent assistance - May be paid to Centrelink clients who rent privately and pay rent above an amount based on their individual family circumstances. Not paid to people in public housing as their rent is already subsidised.
Bereavement Payments (Pensioners and Carers) - When one member of a pensioner couple dies, the surviving partner may receive a bereavement payment paid as a lump sum or by instalment. Carer payments may continue to be paid for up to 14 weeks after the death of the person in care.
Bereavement Allowance - Assists the surviving member of a couple who was not receiving income support (e.g. pension, carer payment) before bereavement. The payment is subject to an income and assets test and generally payable from the date of the death of the partner for a maximum of 14 weeks.
Carer Payment - For carers who are unable to support themselves in the workforce because they provide full-time care for a person with a disability in that person’s home. Carer does not need to live with the person for whom they care. Subject to an income and assets test. For further information contact Centrelink.
Carer Allowance - Available to parents or carers who provide personal daily care for adults or children with a disability or severe medical condition. No asset or income test; can be paid in addition to other payments such as the Carer Payment or Age Pension.
For permanent residents of South Australia aged 60 years and over who are not working more than 20 hours per week in paid employment.
Card holders are entitled to:
- a range of discounts provided by commercial and retail businesses
- 50% concession on public transport with free travel on weekdays 9.01am - 3pm, all day on weekends and public holidays.
- 25% off all Great Southern Rail fares, tel. 1800 703 357
Concessions on council rates up to $100 (charges apply) may also may be available. Note that conditions apply.
Cards are now recognised by all interstate urban public transport services and possibly by other participating businesses interstate.
Contact the Seniors Card Unit, tel. 1800 819 961 or apply on line: www.sa.gov.au/topics/seniors/seniors-card
Personal Alert Systems Rebate Scheme
This South Australian government program provides financial assistance for frail older South Australians to obtain a personal alert system.
The rebate is available to people who are 75 or older (65 years for Aboriginal people) and meet all the specific clinical, social and functional eligibility criteria for the rebate.
Check the webite, contact Seniors Information Service on 8168 8776 or the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion on 1300 700 169 for further details.
BreastScreen SA offers free mammograms (breast x-rays) to all women aged 50 - 69 years, tel. 13 20 50.
State Government concessions – information regarding both seniors and non-seniors concessions is also available from the Concessions Hotline, tel. 1800 307 758
Passports - for Australians aged 75 and over, a Senior's Passport at 50% of the cost of a normal passport is available. Contact any Australia Post office.
Funeral Assistance Program - assists immediate adult relatives of a deceased person who are genuinely unable to pay for the funeral if the person’s estate will not cover the cost. Payment is made directly to the funeral director. Contact the Program, tel. 1300 762 577.
Entertainment - many clubs, cinemas, theatres and state-funded facilities such as museums offer concessions to seniors. Proof of age may be required.
The information contained here is general in nature and is not intended as financial advice.